Novavax non-mRNA Covid-19 vaccine arrives in S'pore, could be offered from end-May

The Expert Committee on Covid-19 vaccination says it is an 'acceptable alternative' to the mRNA vaccines.

Nigel Chua | May 04, 2022, 11:14 PM

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The first shipment of Nuvaxovid Covid-19 vaccine by Novavax has arrived in Singapore on May 4, said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

MOH said the shipment will enable it to start offering the non-mRNA vaccine at its first Joint Testing and Vaccination Centre (JTVC), located at the former Bishan Park Secondary School, as well as 20 Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) at the end of this month.

MOH said it is currently working to onboard "selected PHPCs" to offer the Nuvaxovid vaccine and that further details would be announced "in the coming weeks".

Nuvaxovid will be part of National Vaccination Programme

MOH's statement reiterated its earlier announcement made in February this year, that the Multi-Ministry Taskforce accepted the recommendation of the Expert Committee on Covid-19 Vaccination (EC19V) to include the Nuvaxovid vaccine in the National Vaccination Programme for use in individuals aged 18 years and above.

The vaccine can be used for both Covid-19 primary series and booster vaccination.

mRNA vaccines still preferred

MOH said in its May 4 statement that the EC19V recommends the Nuvaxovid vaccine as "an acceptable alternative" to the mRNA vaccines in individuals aged 18 years and above, after considering the data on its safety, efficacy and tolerability.

However, MOH added that "the mRNA vaccines still remain the preferred vaccines".

This is due to their higher efficacy and the stronger immune response generated.

JTVCs a "new class of facilities"

MOH also shared details on the new JTVCs, which it said will be "a new class of facilities".

The JTVCs will offer both Covid-19 testing and vaccination services in the same premise, MOH said.

This allows MOH to consolidate resources while ensuring testing and vaccination services remain accessible to the public, said the ministry.

MOH added that the JTVCs are slated for operations in end-May 2022.

"Boosters and vaccinations remain a critical part of our Covid-19 strategy in ensuring our population is well protected against infection and severe illness," said MOH.

"We urge all who are eligible for vaccinations and booster doses to receive them as soon as possible," added the ministry.

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